3 October 2018

Urban Melbourne ‘Dean Pask discusses The Millswyn’

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10 April 2018


Up until recently, home-buyers were faced with the question of whether they were more suited to a sprawling house and backyard in the suburbs, or an inner-city apartment with the convenience of an inner-suburban lifestyle. But what happens when they want both?

Enter the ‘house-partment’ – the latest dwelling type offering Melbourne’s high-end buyers the best of both worlds.

The ‘house-partment’ has been created due to the increasing number of buyers seeking the spaciousness and sophistication of a house, with the central location and modern amenity of an apartment.

It’s a trend that is particularly prominent in Melbourne’s wealth belt – blue-chip suburbs like Toorak, South Yarra and Hawthorn – where developers are shifting their attention to the rising contingent of owner-occupiers who are embracing penthouse apartment living, but only when the apartment of choice includes all the trimmings of a luxury family home.

Marshall White, Melbourne’s leading real estate agency, says this reflects innovative thinking from developers responding to the needs of astute buyers with increasingly discerning tastes and rapidly evolving needs.

“The house-partment is something we’ve just now started to see on the market, and it feels like a natural next step for developers as the apartment market gets increasingly competitive,” said one of the company directors, Marcus Chiminello.

“Melbourne’s most discriminating buyers feel like they’ve seen it all before, so we’re excited to show them something new and different that meets all their criteria and exceeds their high expectations.

“One new building in Melbourne’s prestigious Domain precinct has raised the bar beyond anything we’ve seen to date, and truly heralded in this new type of residence.”

Titled Millswyn, the series of just ten residences is driving a new standard of design excellence in South Yarra, offering the grandeur and scale of a period house, with the amenity and location of a luxury apartment.

Designed by renowned architect Rob Mills, the homes bridge the gap between houses and apartments with extensive floorplans, 3-plus metre ceilings, full butler’s pantries and walk-in closets the size of a one-bedroom apartment.

“While each of the homes has its own private garage and entry like a standalone house, residents are provided the same ongoing maintenance, safety and sense of community associated with apartment living,” said Chiminello.

“Buyers across a variety of demographics are excited about this offering; retirees are trading in their family home for something equally as grand with less maintenance, while families with children enjoy the abundant space and relative quiet when compared to a normal apartment.”

Inspired by its location, nestled between Fawkner Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Millswyn is impressing buyers with its outstanding exterior design by iconic landscape architect, Paul Bangay.

“The project has attracted a very sophisticated buyer that understands the value of having someone like Paul Bangay create the outdoor setting.”

“These are people that want to have friends over and entertain outdoors and need the space and the level of quality design to do so.”

In addition to its incredible design, part of Millswyn’s value lies in its rare and esteemed location in Melbourne’s sought-after South Yarra. With a WalkScore of 92, the best restaurants, cafes and boutique retailers Melbourne has to offer are at the fingertips of Millswyn residents.

“Buyers want the whole package, and that’s what Millswyn offers; the luxurious lifestyle, meticulous design detail, oversized living spaces and access to Melbourne’s CBD and the very best parks, schools, shops and restaurants.

“Convenience and lifestyle are the new economy, so expect to see this hybrid-style home continue to grow in popularity.”

As developers continue to exceed the expectations of buyers and new ideas are brought to life, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the future of apartment living in Melbourne.

To find out more about Millswyn, where only six residences remain, visit millswynsouthyarra.com.au.

6 April 2018


Whether it’s the sky-high ceilings that reflect a sense of grandeur, or the rare Italian marble that features prominently in sprawling kitchens and bathrooms, there are certain hallmarks of quality design that can be found in Australia’s top echelon of luxury homes.

However, with a number of new developments pushing the boundaries of luxury design to a wider market, the bar has been raised, prompting Australia’s most in-demand architects to redefine luxury and create a whole new benchmark for their wealthy clients.

Prominent Melbourne-based architect Rob Mills, who has designed lavish homes for many of Australia’s elite, is at the forefront of this ‘no expense spared’ approach to design.

Here Rob shares his insights into the four new design features that are redefining luxury yet again, gaining prevalence in his clients’ multi-million-dollar mansions as the new benchmark for the wealthy elite.

Incomparable scale

A truly luxurious living space is one of grand proportions, with three-plus-metre ceilings, sweeping open living areas and full height doors.

Traditional homes rarely feature proportions of this scale, but one new address in the Domain Precinct is bringing old-world glamour and scale to the modern buyer.

A boutique collection of just 10 luxury residences, Millswyn’s ceilings soar between an incredible 3.0 – 3.2 metres into the sky at their grandest points, framed by sizeable doors and hand-stained and polished timber thresholds.

Designed by Rob Mills himself, these homes offer a glimpse into the commodity of space at the expense of all else.

“Space is the first and foremost luxury of Millswyn, then it’s the quality of the materials and the quality of design conveyed,” Mills says.

“What makes this project exemplary is its sense of scale. There’s an order, a structure and a hierarchy – everything is in its place.

“The developer, Pask Group, could have easily dropped the ceiling height and added another level to the building, but for Melbourne’s most elite buyers, it’s the grand sense of space that is of the utmost importance,” he said.

Italian marble

Melbourne apartments frequently feature marble in their design, but the quality differs significantly depending on its place of origin, grain and colour. The presence of rare marble is an instant indicator of a home of remarkable design and significance.

In Melbourne’s high-end homes, only the highest quality marble is used, often taking centre stage on island benches, kitchen splashbacks and bathroom vanities.

One example is Arabescato Vagli marble, a product known for its stark white appearance and strong, striking grain. The dramatic marble, which was used to create some of the most remarkable buildings in Ancient Rome, is so rare it’s now classified as a luxury stone.

Walk-in spaces

While walk-in robes are certainly nothing new, for Melbourne’s elite purchasers, walk-in-robes and master suites are taking on new meaning.

At Millswyn, the walk-in robes are larger than the standard bedroom, and two of the residences feature 60sqm master suites – roughly the same size as a small two- bedroom apartment.

The draws and island units in the bedroom wardrobes are lined with genuine, dark-grey Aniline leather ­– an extraordinary material that can only be produced from five per cent of all raw hides.

“Features typically thought to be unattainable in an inner-city development are simply standard inclusions of Millswyn homes,” Mills says.

Superior outdoor design

As an extension of a home’s interior, the garden space is equally as important and shouldn’t be forgotten when designing homes of grandeur.

At Millswyn, acclaimed landscape architect Paul Bangay worked closely with Mills to create a seamless congruence between inside and out.

Bangay’s lavish entrance gardens and private resident terraces complement Mills’ architecture with rich vistas and meticulously considered colour schemes.

“When entering a Millswyn home, your eye flows over the surfaces and leads uninterrupted to the landscape outdoors – it’s a sensory experience that’s visual and acoustic,” Mills says.

From awe-inspiring entrances to rare materials sourced from around the world, there’s a whole new set of rules when it comes to the must-haves for Melbourne’s elite, none expressed more so than at Millswyn.

To find out more about Millswyn at its unmatched design, visit millswynsouthyarra.com.au.

6 March 2018

From 60s icon to high-end residences, the transformation of one of Melbourne’s most iconic sites

It’s universally recognised as one of Melbourne’s most esteemed locales, where prestigious residences along tree-lined streets are held for many generations.

So rare are these homes offered up for sale in South Yarra’s famed Domain Precinct, that when a prized piece of real estate is finally released to the market, people stop and take notice.

So when whispers started to abound that not just one, but 10 grand residences would be created at 1 – 23 Millswyn Street, inspired by the original 1800s home that still occupies the site, it soon became the talk of the town.

Originally home to a Victorian Italianate mansion for one of Melbourne’s wealthiest families, the historic mansion was first commissioned by prolific architect William Salway, and is one of the few of his buildings remaining in Melbourne.

Decades later it was joined by a second building on the same block, which Sally Bloomfield (former editor of Harper’s Bazaar and The Real Housewives of Melbourne personality) and her husband Ian Robertson used to operate two successful hotels, The Albany and The Bloomfield.

Now, it is set to become home to the new echelon of the city’s elite, reimagined as a boutique collection of 10 luxury residences, with prominent architect Rob Mills leading the design.

The rich history of the site was a key source of inspiration for Mills, who retained much of the original mansion’s façade and structure.

“We’ve preserved the essence of the original building completely,” said Mills.

“A site like this doesn’t come along often, so as an architect it’s a unique opportunity to create something that’s truly worthy of its location.”

“Millswyn” as it is now called, will retain much of the old-world glamour of its heritage-listed neighbour, while adding a contemporary twist worthy of its well-heeled occupants.

“The residences are classically proportioned and have a similar rhythm, colour, form and shape to the original mansion – our architecture just naturally belongs in an environment like this,” said Mills.

“It’s an aspirational building that’s tall, proud, bold and confident. It’s all those things the people of Domain look to and respect.

“The result is a building that I think speaks to them ­– they feel like they belong in this building,” he said.

The sleek but grandiose two-level building employs classic architectural principles that give the sense of monumentality often seen in historic European buildings.

Meanwhile, the stoic straight lines and Isernia limestone façade with floor-to-ceiling glass panels inject a contemporary sophistication.

Each of the three or four-bedroom homes will be both imposing and welcoming, with soaring three-plus-metre ceilings, expansive living areas and main bedroom suite with luxurious carpets and a room-sized walk-in wardrobe.

Kitchens rival those of even the most elite Toorak residences, with generous layouts floored with French-grey oak and centered by a striking island bench of Arabescato Vagli marble.

Lasting two pac joinery has bronzed accents and the Miele appliances include two ovens, induction cooktop and integrated refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher with a Qasair rangehood.

Warm summer nights will be enjoyed in regal style, with sweeping landscaped terraces and gardens all designed by one of Australia’s most heralded landscape architects, Paul Bangay.

So as the local community has waited and watched in anticipation, soon the transformation from old-world, Italianate heritage into these incredible residences will be complete, as construction looks to come to a close in mid-2018.

For many elite Melbournians who have only ever dreamed of attaining such an acclaimed piece of property without direct bloodlines that lay claim to the precinct, Millswyn is their chance to skip the generational queue.

With four of the sophisticated apartments already snapped up, just six residences remain. For more information or to find out how to secure one of the few remaining homes, click here.